We have learned so much about the plasticity of the brain in recent years and while there is much more to learn, the information we already have is compelling. Basically, by learning how to focus our minds, we can change neural pathways in our brain, rewire our brains for greater calm and happiness and in doing so, create changes in our minds as well. This creates a feedback loop wherein we can heal ourselves and become more responsible for our health and well-being.
Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of several best selling books on this topic, was my guest on Voices for Healing Talk Radio on June 16, 2014. Rick shared with us the negativity bias within the brain that developed back when early humans needed to be on alert for very real threats to safety. Now our wiring causes a state of high alert even when the danger is not life threatening. There is value in this for our safety, but we pay a high price with our emotional and physical health when we remain in the state of alert. Rick shares a simple breathing exercise and other actions we can take to calm ourselves when we need to calm and partner exercises to increase our strength when we need more energy.
Rick also shares with us that we can strengthen our health by taking in the good and learning to hold positive experiences when we have them. We do this by acknowledging the experience, enriching them and staying with the positive feelings and sensations for 10-20 seconds or more, absorbing the experience more deeply to embody it. Regularly practicing this over time can change our brains for the better and reduce stress, increase happiness, and more.
Here these techniques and much more information on Voices For Healing. See link to the radio show and for Rick’s books below.
Radio show link: